The nature-themed floors at Slack’s San Francisco headquarters take employees from the desert to a cloudy mountaintop

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Studio O+A
  • Slack’s San Francisco headquarters has a unique, nature-themed office.
  • Each floor is inspired by a different natural landscape of the Pacific Crest Trail, along the west coast.
  • Design firm Studio O+A embraced the theme, while also making the office functional.

Slack employees in San Francisco can go from the desert, to the mountains, to a glacier, all without leaving the office.

The San Francisco headquarters, designed by Studio O+A, has a specific nature theme. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is known for his love of hiking and the outdoors, so the design firm decided to base the office on the Pacific Crest Trail, which connects two of Slack’s offices in San Francisco and Vancouver.

The firm said that, with each floor representing a different landscape along the trail, it tried to create a “virtual trip from Baja to the Pacific Northwest.” Each floor evokes aspects of its design inspiration in nature, while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic that isn’t too distracting.


The lobby is designed like a “base camp,” with tent-like benches for meetings before venturing upstairs.

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Studio O+A

The second floor is inspired by the rocky desert, and light fixtures create the feeling of the desert at night.

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Studio O+A

Floor three is more desert, and then the fourth floor is inspired by mountain peaks.

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Studio O+A

The fifth floor is based on mountain lakes. This room, the library, was inspired by bridges on mountain trails that pass over lakes and streams, according to Studio O+A.

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Studio O+A

The custom painting in this fifth-floor room depicts mist on a mountain lake.

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Studio O+A

This room evokes the sixth floor’s waterfall theme, with platforms and ceiling fixtures that imitate the feeling of hiking behind a waterfall.

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Studio O+A

A green ‘living wall’ is intended to create the experience of coming upon a clearing in the trail.

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Habitat Horiculture

Source: Business Insider


This seating area is based on the opening of a rockface.

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Studio O+A

The seventh floor is forest-themed, and these seating areas are inspired by growth patterns of redwoods on the Pacific Crest Trail.

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Studio O+A

Ceiling fixtures imitate light coming in through the treetops.

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Studio O+A

Studio O+A was careful about matching the correct plant species and geological features.

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Studio O+A

The Volcano Tea Lounge on the eighth floor is volcano themed, and also serves boba.

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Studio O+A

One of the building’s most unique features, the glacier-themed ninth floor has glass panels that change color to mimic the appearance of light in glacier cracks.

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Studio O+A

A stairway covered by steel arches takes Slack employees to the 10th floor, as if climbing to the summit of a mountain.

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Studio O+A

The stairs lead to Slack’s executive briefing center, designed as a lounge among the clouds.

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Studio O+A